For those you have experienced firsthand, how much fun hammock camping is, it must be very difficult to do any other type of camping. Isn’t it right?
Hammocks are very easy to carry around, they are quite cheap and most important of all it keeps your back off the ground.
Now, hammock camping has a big flaw and that is hammocks tend to get way colder than tents. This makes it unsuitable for Hammock Camping In Winter. Does it?
The answer is no. You can hammock camp in the winter and have a great and comfortable time by just knowing about everything that you have to bring with you to the camp and what are the ways to prevent the cold breeze from bothering you.
We aren’t talking about places with snow, where it isn’t a good idea to camp at all, but in places where the night gets chilly around 30-degree F. So, keeping that in mind, let us dive in.
What Is Hammock Camping And Why Is It Difficult In Winter?
So, let us first see what hammock camping is and what were the drawbacks associated with it when it came to winter camping.
Well, in hammock camping you sleep in a single piece of cloth that is suspended between two supports, favorably in the form of trees, that are at a distance of maybe around 10 feet from each other. It is a type of camping in the open with the environment.
If you are interested in knowing more about hammock camping, you can check our article Hammock Camping: A Complete Guide.
And if you want to know how a hammock camp differs from regular tents, we have an article for that Hammock Camping vs Tent Camping: Everything You Need To Know.
For dog lovers, we have an article on how to hammock camp with your dog Hammock Camping With A Dog: Embark On A New Journey.
As hammock camping is done wide in the open on a single piece of cloth, it is considered unsuitable for winter camping, because you are directly on the path of the wind that can carry away your body heat along with it. Also, lying in the open means no roof over your head to protect you from the falling mist or fog.
So, you need some additional accessories to go with your hammock for winter camping. We have a list of winter hammock camping gear in the upcoming section, so make sure to check it out.
Winter Hammock Camping Gear List
As mentioned above winter hammock camping is quite difficult and you cannot survive even a single day out there with just the hammock. So, here is a list of all the accessories that are available to you that can make your hammock camping a success.
First of all, it is the hammock itself. Winter hammocks need to be chosen wisely or it can have some dire consequences on you. You can’t go to winter camping with a rope hammock. That would be ridiculous right?
The best type of hammock for winter camping according to us is an expedition hammock. It is kind of like a tent but above the ground, so you don’t have to worry about the cold seeping into your back.
Before buying your hammock, you have to check the thickness of the hammock by yourself. Very thick material will provide you with the best insulation, but it may get difficult to carry it around. So, as per your luggage capacity, you can choose a hammock that can be carried by you and thick enough for your liking.
We have a list of the best hammocks with mosquito tents. You can check out Best Camping Hammock with Mosquito Net.
Imagine you are out there to hammock camp and you have to spend a lot of time just setting up the hammock with ropes all the while shivering because of the cold. You want to avoid that at all costs. Don’t you?
So, for winter camping, look for hammock straps that can be easily fixed to the trees, your hammock can be set up quickly and you can jump right in.
Now, some hammocks already have built-in straps for your ease, but if there aren’t you can buy them separately. They are easily available in the market at a low cost.
If there is snowfall, or even if there isn’t, it is always good to have a rainfly over you. The precipitation because of cold weather is very high and so if this falls on your hammock or your overquilt, it can carry away the heat that is collected beneath it.
There are different sizes of rainfly available, some people use the smaller ones just to serve as a roof while some use larger ones, that can cover your sides and prevent the incoming wind as well.
We tend to go for a large rainfly, but you have to keep in mind that the larger the rainfly, the more is the luggage.
Even for regular hammock camping, you need quilts. Underquilts are very necessary but over quilts are not quite. But when it comes to hammock camping in winter, both underquilt and overquilt had to be used.
Underquilts are attached beneath your hammock to provide extra protection to your backs. Normally, the breeze can take away all your body heat from your back. So, having an underquilt can insulate your back. Keep a gap between your back and underquilt so that some heat can get trapped there.
Overquilts are like sleeping bags for your hammock. They will provide you with cover when you lie down. Having both overquilt and underquilt can insulate your hammock completely from the surroundings.
5. Sleeping Bags And Pads:
Next up on your list should be a sleeping bag and sleeping pad. In winter, you cannot go camping without a sleeping bag, it is as simple as that. It provides you with insulation and comfort. Have a down-type sleeping bag for extra comfort.
Look for a sleeping bag with a low-temperature rating like 10-degree F or below. While choosing the sleeping bag, check if the size of the sleeping bag is fitting for you.
If you want a good sleeping bag, you can check out 9 Best Sleeping Bags For Hammock Camping: Take The Chill Off.
Now, a sleeping bag in winter is incomplete without a sleeping pad. Even with a sleeping bag and sleeping pads, you need to have a sleeping pad to ensure a comfortable sleep with an insulated back.
A sleeping pad helps to keep your posture and makes it comfortable for you to turn around in your sleep. We prefer having an inflatable sleeping pad because it is easy to carry around.
6. Other Winter Camping Gears:
Apart from all the gear that we have mentioned, a portable camping heater may be a good option for you to have in a winter camping hammock. It can provide you heat that you require the most.
Also, you can use a hot water bottle inside your sleeping bag if you don’t have a heater.
Carrying an extra blanket is also essential as the temperature may fall anytime and you may be stuck feeling cold. So, having an extra blanket may be your way out in those situations.
Tips For Winter Camping In Hammock
Now that you are familiar with what you have to bring to your camping spot, here are some tips and tricks that can help you out a lot out there in the cold.
1. Choose The Location Wisely:
Your choice of location can decide if your trip was comfortable or not. Most beginners in camping don’t know how to choose the correct location.
Your hammock has to be covered on the sides by a boulder or tree. This will block the blowing wind from reaching you.
In winter, this becomes very important. You also have to check for widow makers on the tree that you choose for support.
Also, make sure that you aren’t on any cold pool like in basins where the temperature is lower than the surroundings. Cliff’s faces are also a bad choice.
So, pick a place that blocks the wind and is the warmest in the area.
2. Wear Winter Clothing:
Always pack a lot of woolen clothes that can protect you from cold. People tend to pack a lot of hammock gear and don’t give importance to their clothing. That is a rookie mistake to make. Always try to pack warm socks, thick jackets, warm caps, and hand gloves as well.
Having multiple layers of clothing will mean that your body heat will stay with you and hence your core temperature will stay maintained.
3. Don’t Get In Quickly:
This trick is something that we found very handy while winter camping in a hammock. You should make all the necessary preparations before you go inside your hammock.
If you go out of a hammock too many times, all the heat that is collected finds a way to escape to the environment. Hence you have to start over collecting heat.
Also, once you get inside and your body becomes warm and relaxed, going out of the hammock may be difficult because of the ease at which your body is. So, have a hanging bag attached to your hammock with all the necessary things that you may need at a hand’s distance.
4. Have A Heat Source At All Times:
You can have all the insulation for your body, but when the temperature goes below 10-degree F, nothing can keep you warm other than a heat source.
So, you need to keep a heat-generating source with you. You can either use a campfire to provide you with heat or have a water bottle/ portable heater to keep yourself warm.
This is up to your preference as to which source of heat you use for keeping warm, but we prefer having hand warmers with us at all times and light a campfire nearby.
5. Keep Yourself Dry:
In winter, you may get wet because of many reasons like precipitation, snowfall, etc. But you have to make sure that you are dry at all times. Have a towel with you to wipe off the wetness before getting into your hammock.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
It is good to have all these accessories and tricks up your sleeve when going winter camping in a hammock. It is still wise to let others know beforehand about your camping plans so that in case of an emergency, you don’t have a backup plan prepared.
If you are a beginner and going for winter camping, we would still advise you to use a tent instead because it is easier, but then again you can only learn by experience, so best of luck to you. Investing in good camping gear and accessories always bear fruit and help you enjoy a cozy camping trip.
Do share your crazy winter camping stories with hammock and tell us if you get helped by our tips and tricks, through the comment section below.